ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook
Independently held fuel oil stockpiles in the ARA were drawn to near yearly lows last week, while the bunker hub’s gasoil stocks continued to regain weight after slumping to seven-year lows last month, according to consultancy Insights Global.
Prompt supply came under pressure amid strong bunker demand in the ARA at the beginning of the week, pushing recommended lead times to 5-6 days for VLSFO. The tightness eased slightly towards the mid-week, bringing required lead times down to 3-4 days.
Supply of all grades is steady in Hamburg, Skaw and Gothenburg. Hamburg has priced VLSFO at sustained discounts to ARA and the Scandinavian ports this week. Gale and choppy seas off Skaw have delayed some deliveries and created a backlog.
Suppliers have cleared almost all backlogs in Gibraltar and Algeciras after bad weather suspended operations last week. Six vessels were in line to bunker across the two ports on Wednesday and a string of suppliers were running 2-6 hours behind schedule, port agent MH Bland said. Another bout of rough weather is forecast from Tuesday next week.
Vessels are left to drifting by Las Palmas after rough weather triggered weather suspensions across both inner and outer anchorages. Suppliers are delayed by at least two days. The weather is forecast to improve intermittently from Thursday.
No vessels were awaiting bunker deliveries at the Algoa Bay anchorage on Wednesday as favourable weather conditions had allowed suppliers to clear weather-related backlogs from earlier in the week, local shipping agent Sturrock Grindrod says. But conditions were forecast to deteriorate later on Wednesday, with gale-force winds and waves touching 4 meters threating more bunker suspensions until Monday.
Four bulk carriers and four LPG and oil tankers are due to arrive in Algoa Bay between Thursday and Monday and face potential delays.
Source: ENGINE (https://engine.online/)